Meet Our Instructors

Charu

Meet Charu Kamdar, BlackRock Instructor, "School Ready, Writing and Art"
I am a registered occupational therapist and licensed in Maryland. I have been working as an occupational therapist for more than 25 years. I have extensive experience working with the pediatric population. I work with students of varied age groups and am passionate about my work and my priority is to have children learn handwriting in a fun and multi-sensory manner and they are confident and excited about handwriting.

I am a certified handwriting specialist having received the certification with the Handwriting Without Tears program. This specialty enhances my capabilities to improve students’ versatility to perform tasks at school. My spring class at BlackRock with Beena Raichura, “School Ready, Writing and Art,” will use play-based therapy, art projects, multi-sensory materials, music, and movement to help children develop foundational skills for learning. My experience working with children and my occupational therapy background gives me a unique edge to use multi-sensory materials in a fun way to develop specific skills needed for school readiness and handwriting.

School Ready, Writing and Art
March 25 - May 20 | Register

beena

Meet Beena Raichura, BlackRock Instructor, "School Ready, Writing and Art"
"Hello! My name is Beena Raichura. I am a licensed and registered occupational therapist in Maryland. I have 29 years of experience as an occupational therapist—19 in a school setting. I have worked with children of all ages from preschool to high school. I am also a certified handwriting specialist having received the certification with the Handwriting Without Tears program. This specialty enhances my capabilities to improve students’ versatility to perform tasks at school. I am passionate about my work. My spring class at BlackRock with Charu Kamdar, “School Ready, Writing and Art,” will use play-based therapy, art projects, a variety of materials, music, and movement to help children develop foundational skills for learning. My experience working with children and my occupational therapy background gives me a unique edge to use ordinary materials in a fun way to develop specific skills."

School Ready, Writing and Art
March 25 - May 20 | Register

Parisa

Meet Parisa Faghih, BlackRock Instructor for two of our upcoming 2020 spring courses. “I graduated from Tehran University in three different majors: Architecture, Painting, and Animation. I consider myself an explorer. Besides art exhibitions throughout the past 30 years, I have experience in puppet design for children’s theater, mask design, and writing and illustrating children’s books. Art has always been my passion. I believe art is innate. We all have stories to tell and feelings to express. Teaching art is exciting because during the process, I see people from 4 to 94 years old flourishing. They find their natural amazing gift to express themselves. Art is the universal language to communicate and share the gift we all have.” Parisa will be the instructor for two courses this spring. In “Old News, New Imagination,” students will use water-based paint to paint on newspaper to learn how to focus and use a whole space and express their ideas freely with the knowledge of positive and negative space. Parisa will also teach “Story Making – Children’s Book,” in which students will collect ideas, put them in a story format, make story boards, and become the author and creator of their own story for kids.

mariashorb

Meet Maria Shorb, BlackRock Instructor of Ballet. “Hello, I’m Maria Shorb. I’ve been a ballet instructor for more than 20 years, teaching classical ballet to children, teens and adults. I studied at Nina Novak’s Ballet Academy in Caracas, Venezuela, and at The Dance Studio under Martha Anne Romoser in Arlington, Virginia. I also performed with the Novak Ensemble in Venezuela and with the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in Maryland. I founded and directed D’Elia Ballet Studio and choreographed and staged productions of The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Peter and The Wolf, Scenes from Swan Lake, Wizard of Oz, and other works.”

Natasha3

Meet Natasha Mirny, BlackRock Dance/Fitness Instructor. “I’m a stage director, choreographer, teaching artist, and founder of Happy Theater. My background is in pantomime, puppetry, and physical theater. I started her career as a stage director at one of the largest puppet theaters in Moscow, Russia. For the past five years, I’ve devised and directed nine shows for children up to 7 years of age. One of my shows for young audiences was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award.” “Baby and Me Movement and Storytelling” is an interactive and educational class for you and your little one! Play and learn through music, movement, puppets, and storytelling. You and your child will also investigate sensory props and toys which will enhance learning and creative play. It’s an experience that will teach you tools and activities that you can continue at home to create meaningful and engaging movement and story time.

Photo - Tyler Joyce - Teacher

Meet Tyler Joyce, BlackRock Music Instructor. "I studied music at Towson University and I’ve been playing guitar for more than 40 years. I believe my personalized teaching style benefits kids and adults. I provide my students with the fundamentals and techniques to become skilled musicians and help them work toward their individual goals. Learning should be fun! By making sure that my students enjoy what they are learning, I am able to foster a true appreciation for the joy music can bring.”

BrianMason

Meet Brian Mason, BlackRock Visual Arts Instructor. “I have been an artist since I could pick up a pencil. I love drawing; it is fundamental to my work. I have had a career in education, which has included teaching digital arts software, drawing, painting and cartooning. I began as a watercolor painter then moved into digital art, including illustration, photo restoration, and even web design. The digital arts taught me discipline and the need for research and training. As a result I have returned to the fine arts as a much more organized artist. I enjoy watercolor painting and drawing. I have an art degree from Prince Georges Collage, and a graphic design certificated from the Maryland School of Art and Design. I have studied and taught art at the Corcoran School of Art, Montgomery College, MICA and the Ringling School of Art.  Among the places I have displayed my work are the Corcoran School, Montgomery County Art Association, and Montgomery College.”

Photo - Education - Kelli Harrison

Meet Kelli Harrison, BlackRock Visual Arts Instructor. “Hello! I earned my Master's Degree in Art Education from Towson University. I have taught for more than a decade, beginning in a Title 1 community and later teaching at a National Blue Ribbon school. I'm happy to say I have influenced hundreds of students from all walks of life. My passion for the arts began in early childhood, and I continue to learn as an artist and as an instructor. In addition to drawing and painting, I have experience with clay, printmaking, paper mache, and stained glass.”

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